Minimally Invasive Collection of Plasma in the Field: Evaluation and Early Findings on Adult Health from Malawi

Beth J. Soldo, University of Pennsylvania
Philip A. Anglewicz, University of Pennsylvania

Collecting biomarkers involves balancing ease and cost with specimen stability and assay reliability. In poor countries these concerns are exacerbated because of limited infrastructures for delivering health services and transportation. In this paper we describe a new approach to collecting biologics in Malawi, one of the poorest countries in Sub-Saharan Africa with high levels of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases. We know little about the health of adults sharing the same environments as those with HIV/AIDS. We evaluate the adult physical health of 1,000 individuals in the Malawi Diffusion and Ideational Change Project, including 110 persons with HIV/AIDS, in terms of 12 biomarkers of activity in three basic biologic systems: immune (hsCRP), metabolic (lipids and glucose) and renal. We use the Demecalâ„¢ blood sampling system that requires but 1-2 drops and uses a patented filter to separate out plasma and cells. Non-HIV adults have elevated pathogen burdens and show evidence of chronic malnutrition and dehydration.

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Presented in Session 98: Biomarkers in Demographic Research